AEROFLOT – Fly Soviet

A Visual History



ISBN: 9781916218468 Category:

Bruno Vandermueren, FUEL


Despite the borders of the USSR being closed to majority of its population, Soviet citizens were among the world’s most frequent flyers.

Following the 1917 Revolution, Vladimir Lenin made the development of aviation a priority. Assisted by advertising campaigns by artists such as Alexander Rodchenko, Soviet society was mobilised to establish an air fleet – from the very beginning of the USSR through to its demise in 1991, Soviet aviation flew its own unique path.

This book unfolds the story of Soviet air travel, from early carriers like Deruluft and Dobrolet, to the enigmatic Aeroflot. Organised like an Air Force, with a vast fleet of aircraft and helicopters, Aeroflot was the world’s biggest air carrier of passengers and cargo, responsible for a wider range of duties than any other airline.

In an era when it was still common to smoke on board, the Aeroflot emblem appeared on cigarette packets, matchboxes and many other everyday goods. Aeroflot publicity alerted domestic passengers to new destinations or proudly presented the introduction of faster, more comfortable aircraft, while colourful advertising enticed Western travellers to use Aeroflot’s international services.

Aeroflot – Fly Soviet uses this ephemera to illustrate a parallel aviation universe that existed for 70 years. It pays tribute to generations of aircraft engineers, designers, pilots, ticket sellers, flight dispatchers, air traffic controllers, ground handlers and flight attendants, who jointly created this remarkable chapter of Soviet civil aviation history.

Additional information

Weight 564 g
Dimensions 12.7 x 21 cm
Publisher name FUEL Design & Publishing
Publication date 14 February 2022
Number of pages 240
Format Hardback
Dimensions 12.7 x 21 cm
Weight 564 g


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Bruno Vandermueren was born in 1977 and grew up in the vicinity of Brussels airport. From a young age he developed a keen interest in aviation and in 1998 he graduated with a degree in Aviation Technology from Ostend college. The airport of this Belgian coastal town was popular among aviation enthusiasts as in the 1990s it was a stopover for many of the newly formed Russian cargo airlines. It was here that the author photographed many of the former Aeroflot Ilyushin and Antonov planes. Since 1998 he has worked as an aircraft engineer and aircraft maintenance operations coordinator for European Air Transport (DHL) and now TUI (Touristik Union International). Over the last twenty-one years, he has collected Soviet Aeroflot material, accumulating the largest collection in the world. He has flown on many Soviet aircraft and continues to travel to the former Soviet republics hunting for Aeroflot artefacts. Damon Murray and Stephen Sorrell have been publishing critically acclaimed books on Soviet culture since 2004 with their Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia. More recent titles include Chernobyl: A Stalkers' Guide, Soviet Cities, Spomenik Monument Database and Soviet Bus Stops.